Millions of Venezuelans are fleeing the crisis torn country into neighboring Colombia. According to the United Nations, approximately 2.4 million people have fled the country since 2014. How dire is the situation and could it get even worse? Dialogue President Michael Shifter discussed these questions on CBC’s Power & Politics with Vassy Kapelos.
Comments by Michael Shifter:
“Unfortunately [the migration crisis in Venezuela] is getting quite close and comparable to the [migration crisis in Syria] and it’s only likely to get worse. The numbers are really astounding. […] The exodus is accelerating and there doesn’t seem to be any imminent changes in Venezuela that would stop people from leaving.”
“I think the international community responded late. There were signs that this was happening a couple years ago. Recently they have been waking up to the situation and […] certainly ratcheting up political and diplomatic pressure against the Maduro regime but also applying sanctions against individuals that are involved in human rights abuses and corruptions. [They have also implemented] financial sanctions that Maduro has blamed for the reason of the crisis in Venezuela.”
“I think there is only so much that can be done from outside the country. It will also depend on the forces within Venezuela, both within the government and within the opposition to get out of this crisis.”
“I’m not surprised that [US] discussions [about a coup] have happened. The military is going to be a key player in whatever is next in Venezuela. All the other institutions in the country have been destroyed in the regime. But I’m also not surprised that Maduro has used this for his own political advantage and benefit; it plays into his narrative of conspiracy against the Venezuelan government.”
“The impact of the Venezuela crisis is huge. […] It’s affecting virtually every country in Latin America and the Caribbean. Clearly the recent talks between the Trump administration officials and factions within the military make Latin Americans nervous, but there is no sympathy throughout Latin America for the Maduro regime.”